September 26, 2017
Reports and Emerging Priorities
The third input from keynote speaker, Presentation Sister and theologian Shalini Mulackal, asked us to think about “Where we are going” by first recalling us to the question: “how” are we going? We heard the ancient story from the Bhagavad Gita about the warrior Arjuna’s encounter with Krishna. We reflected on the Exodus experiences in our Judeo-Christian heritage of being called to enter into the attitude of God towards the afflicted. We learned that Mahatma Gandhi coined the Sanskrit word “Satyagraha” meaning Firmness in Truth during the Indian independence movement. We reflected on the challenge of our Christian faith/commitment to take the side of justice and that the way of the struggle for justice is non-violence as only love is worthy of faith. Are we ready for the radical practice of non-violence of the mind in order to live the total rejection of injustice in our world?
The reports from the directors, networker/coordinator, finance committee and NGO representative were very inspiring. We could feel that the stewardship of our global connectedness as Presentation people in IPA had been well looked after by the various groups. “I have the feeling of gratefulness to be part of IPA and I could feel the oneness and being connected with each other through IPA.”
The sharing from different group tables in response to all the reports was facilitated very well. It was very inspiring and gave us all an insight into each of our bigger responsibility as part of the global IPA. “What we do affects the others.”
The last report on the research project produced good discussion and feedback in group sharing. We appreciated the strengths and opportunities at local and global level and what challenges we are to decide in coming days. The flow of the day led us to look from the reports of the past years towards the outcomes of the research offering us ways forward.
Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, OFM Conv. of the Diocese of Parramatta (Western Sydney region), celebrated the Eucharist with us, affirming us as women disciples who are graced with the Spirit. Our compassionate work with the poor, marginalised and voiceless were models to the institutional Church that our mission can be done differently. Pope Francis is talking about encounter, compassion, justice as the way of being Church in the world today.
After dinner, Bishop Long shared his personal story of being a refugee, fleeing by boat from Vietnam to Australia in the 1980s. He invited all of us to “break our borders,” to include refugees and asylum seekers within our communities to enrich our societies. We blessed the bishop in his work to change attitudes in Australia.
Prepared with Presentation people from Philippine vice-province